Media Release: Greens to contest Livingston by-election

THE Scottish Green Party has announced that it is to contest the Livingston by-election after selecting local candidate, David Robertson. David is employed by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland as a National Alliance Co-ordinator and is Co-convener of the local Falkirk and West Lothian Green Party branch.

Greens say that only a Green vote is a vote for a genuine alternative to the ‘same old parties’. Locally the party is calling for more support for local business and to strengthen local communities. It wants more investment in sustainable enterprise to secure a long term future for Livingston’s hi-tech industries and more community participation in decision making. Mr Robertson is a strong advocate of sustainable local business and has experience of social enterprise and credit unions.

On the issues of global poverty and climate change, Greens say that the recent G8 shows clearly that, with the main parties, it is big-business-as-usual, and that the need for ethical foreign policy, for serious action on climate change and for trade justice is greater than ever.

David Robertson, 46, said: “A vote for any of the other parties is a wasted vote. This is an opportunity for people to vote on the ‘big picture’ issues like the war in Iraq and on climate change which threatens our livelihoods, our economy and our environment. A Green vote is also for those who want politicians to think further ahead
than the next election.

“A vote for Labour is a vote to continue the folly of Iraq, it is a vote to do nothing about climate change and it is a vote for big
business, not small business nor strong local communities. A Green voter has the chance to stand up for democracy and local communities and to deliver more long term support for Livingston’s hi-tech industries and local economy.

“The election will no doubt be characterised by memories of Robin Cook, but voters need to ask themselves whether another Labour MP will deliver anything other than a string of apologies for the misdemeanours of New Labour.”

The Greens have never stood in Livingston in a Westminster election, the local party had only just been established earlier this year. In Livingston in 2003 the Green vote was 6.5 per cent, and in the 2004 European elections Greens gained 7.4 per cent of the vote. The top Green score in the Lothian Region in 2004 was 17 per cent in Edinburgh North and Leith.

Greens are confident of growing their vote in a Westminster election here judging by recent results in May where support for the Greens was around 3.5 per cent on average in the 19 seats they stood in, with a top vote of eight per cent in Glasgow, with other smaller parties suffering heavy setbacks across the board.

Despite the unfair first past the post voting system, Greens are confident of eventually making the breakthrough at Westminster to join the seven Green MSPs, two MEPs and dozens of local councillors elected at all other political levels in the UK.

For more information contact the Scottish Green Party Press Office on 0790 99 33 074

Picture of David available by email

Biography of David Robertson

Starting working life as a Biology Teacher, David returned to study and gained an MSc in Environmental Management in 1997 before
administering a local exchange trading project financed by the Community Fund over a period of three years.

David, 46 is now National Alliance Coordinator with health charity
Action on Smoking and Health Scotland (ASH Scotland), his principal role is as coordinator of the Scottish Tobacco Control Alliance. David has excellent communication, negotiation and organisational skills;
vital in helping to make the most of the talent of staff and resources of charities and healthcare organisations across Scotland. He is a strong advocate of sustainable local business development and has experience of social business and credit union administration.

He is married to Morag, a primary school teacher and they have two daughters, one at secondary school the other at university. The family lives in Larbert.

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Contact: Scottish Green Party Press Office on 0790 99 33 074.